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Hydraulic force increase

A hydraulic press is a hydraulic mechanism for applying a large lifting or compressive force. It is the hydraulic equivalent of a mechanical lever, and is also known as a Bramah press after the inventor, Joseph Bramah, of England. He invented and was issued a patent on this press in 1795. As Bramah (who is also known for his development of the flush toilet) installed toilets, he studied the existing literature on the motion of fluids and put this knowledge into the development of the press.[1] Hydraulic presses are the most commonly-used and efficient form of modern press.

Principle

The hydraulic press depends on Pascal's principle: the pressure throughout a closed system is constant. At one end of the system is a piston with a small cross-sectional area driven by a lever to increase the force. Small-diameter tubing leads to the other end of the system.

Pascal's law: Pressure on a confined fluid is transmitted undiminished and acts with equal force on equal areas and at 90 degrees to the container wall.

A fluid, such as oil, is displaced when either piston is pushed inward. The small piston, for a given distance of movement, displaces a smaller amount of volume than the large piston, which is proportional to the ratio of areas of the heads of the pistons. Therefore, the small piston must be moved a large distance to get the large piston to move significantly. The distance the large piston will move is the distance that the small piston is moved divided by the ratio of the areas of the heads of the pistons. This is how energy, in the form of work in this case, is conserved and the Law of Conservation of Energy is satisfied. Work is force times distance, and since the force is increased on the larger piston, the distance the force is applied over must be decreased.

Hydraulic Press in a machine shop. This press is commonly used for hydroforming.

See also

References

  1. ^ Carlisle, Rodney (2004). Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries, p. 266. John Wiley & Songs, Inc., New Jersey. ISBN 0471244104.
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